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The Eternal Elite
Publisher: Weapon Press
by Scotty G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/31/2018 11:13:36

The Eternal Elite Staff: Melchizedek Todd Overview: So first up this season we’ve got “The Eternal Elite” from Weapon Press. Seems like the author is also the artist and, if I’m being honest, that normally gives me pause. Sure there are a few talented author/artists out there but they are rare indeed. It typically comes when an artist tries to write or a writer teaches themselves art so they can skip paying an artist. Let’s dive into The Eternal Elite #1 and see if Weapon Press can beat the odds!

Art: So... remember what I said about artist/authors? Yeah... this seems like that. While they definitely had some skill and some panels are better than others; this is not a professional piece. It’s a greyscale comic with decent linework in some places but others just kind of look sloppy. For example, on page 3 of the comic we have some rather amateurish art of 3 characters watching a fight while the characters fighting actually look decent. There are a few issues with shading, proportions, texture (a lot of it is just blurred effect brushes or just forgetting like on page 9 or switching it mid page like on 11), and keeping consistent proportions, etc that crop up pretty regularly.

The fact that we see some beautiful stuff in here is really a shame because when it is contrasted with some lower quality stuff it stands out all the more. Like page 7 has some beautiful examples of dynamic posing but when taken as a whole it looks off. There is also this kind of stylistic disconnect. Page 7 is a great example of this too: you see a very “clean” style with some of the poses but the top row of panels, middle row, and bottom row all seem stylistically very different (like, same artist, but exploring different techniques). This makes it very hard to keep track of things like on page 8 we have Sau, the protagonist, drawn very differently on two panels (bottom left and bottom right) and it took me a beat to figure out they were the same person (since the characters look so non-human).

I’ve definitely seen worse but this isn’t winning any awards.

Now, more than half way through, we get another story with MUCH better art. If this entire book was just this style it’d get a solid 8/10 but we get some much worse art at the start. A mixed bag doesn’t make it better- just drags it down by comparison.

Layout: I always say a hallmark of a good comic is good lettering and layout and... yeah. It’s serviceable. That being said, “serviceable” and unobtrusive is the term you want to have to describe your comic. The font could use a little more spacing (between letters and between lines) but that’s minor gripe.

What is NOT a minor grip is page 15. Ouch. Really? That is some painful text, a grainy image behind it, and the author forgot a period in their first ellipsis. That’s just sloppy.

They make good use of their panels and even get creative. Sometimes they arbitrarily restrain/clip art in panels but I'm not going to judge them too harshly for that.

Writing / Story: So the first like third of this comic is just a fight/training scene and nothing really gets going until like page 8/25. When it does get going it’s a story about angels and... well a lot of it is about training. It covers some stuff about the war between the angels and satan. It sets up a kind of order of elite angels

Seriously, if this comic talked about training anymore I’d think I was watching a bad episode of DBZ. We get a big exposition bomb about half way in that just drags on and feels like “block text” in a video game; the kind you want to skip. A lot of this could have been summed up more conversationally or shown through action or, better yet, tossed in a recap paragraph at the start of the comic. Seriously- this is a medium that thrives on its combination of sequential visuals and literary communication; having paragraph length speech bubbles with a bust-shot of a character’s head with little or no background isn’t a proper use of this medium. At one point it just gives up and give us some journal entries... which I’d like except this is a visual AND literary medium; more text bombs don’t make things better. Come on dude, I really want to like this; USE YOUR MEDIUM!

The writing, overall, is competent but we still get some headscratchers; lines like (and this is a full sentence with it’s actually punctuation), “Who or what to fight I joked.” It’s grammatical errors like this that make it a little hard to read. There are at least 2 instance of the author trying to use an ellipsis, and only giving us 2 periods. This book really needed an editor or at least another editing pass or two.

The second story in this book is a painful read. Like I get that it’s trying to show a tortured soul but it just comes across as being rather emo or “edgy for the sake of edgy”. It comes off very trite and is more “scripture porn” than an actually meaningful story. I’m not entirely sure if this second character is supposed to be Sau from the first one but, though I’m fairly sure it’s not (unless they changed its design again). Not much happens here except for a fight and a warrior bemoaning their existence. At least they used the visual and literary mediums together in this and we get some pretty artwork.

Overall: So the last pages reveal that this is a Christian comic. I had my guesses but I judged it entirely as a comic (and wrote most of this review, in note form, before seeing that). I’ve given good and bad reviews to Christian comics but... yeah, this isn’t a great one. It gets a little heavy-handed at the end. Part of me wonders if there were different artists and/or writers on this but they just didn’t get credited. It’s either that or this was just one of the most schizophrenic artist/writers ever.

This is a hard one for me. It’s got moments of brilliance but MAN does it fall apart. We get the exposition dump and mismatched art in the 1st story and the emo diatribe in the second. This sucks because the 1st had an interesting setup (if a little over explained) and the 2nd has awesome artwork.

I can’t recommend this one but, if you dig it, more power to you.

Metrics: Art: 3/10 [2nd part has awesome art, 1st is a mixed bag] Lettering/Layout: 7/10 [Lettering is legible. Layout is solid.] Plot: 4/10 [A decent premise but is implemented poorly] Novelty: 5/10 [Angels vs devils but pretty standard. Unique, if not confusing character designs] Overall: 4.75/10

Review from https://indycomicreview.wordpress.com



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
The Eternal Elite
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Edison Thomas Saves the World #1 (One Shot)
Publisher: Hyperactive Comics
by Scotty G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/04/2016 15:43:20

Edison Thomas Saves the World Staff: Kevin Hill

Overview: A fun, if not flawed, pulpy super-genius comic.

Review: Today I have “Edison Thomas Saves the World” from Hyperactive Comics. It’s presented as a one-shot comic about a 19 year old super genius battling a inter-dimensional being. Without saying any more about it, let’s jump in!

Art: So this is actually done by a trained hand... I think. It’s definitely not high enough quality to call it “professional” but you are not left visually guessing at what’s going on. It really harkens back to the old pulp style comics that were popular in the golden and silver age and I love it. Very clean lines, thick strokes, etc. There are the occasionally poorly drawn panel, facial expression, or the like but on the whole it’s decent.

Now there are some serious technical issues that a little experience will fix. For example, a lot of this looks scanned in or drawn by hand. When you have something like that in a digital format, you need to clean it up. For example, if on page 3 of the PDF you look at the bottom right panel you can see the strokes from where it was filled in. This can be easily fixed by doing something like selecting black’s color range in a program like Photoshop, then doing an auto-fill to replace it with digital black (same can be done for white too).

Layout: In addition to that this comic suffers from a lack of professional layout standards. For example- the edges of the bounding boxes of each panel doesn’t quite line-up with each other. If you are going to offset panels- do it for a reason. This is just sloppy work that something like a ruler could have fixed.

The dialogue balloons are passable, if not a little cramped at time (never let your text touch the edges). Text within dialogue balloons should be done in a vaguely “diamond” shape so it best fits in the shape of the balloon. They remember to do that on occasion but just as often seem to forget and cram words into the balloons.

There are also a few odd capitalization errors (example: page 6 of the PDF has this line, “My Patented “Steel Jacket Restrainer” should keep him out of Trouble!!”) as well as some grammar errors (“one of his arch nemesis...” should be “one of his arch nemeses” for example).

Now one thing I want to talk about are the onomonopias. They are a mess. So, in comics, an onomatopoeia is unbounded text which is rendered in such a way that it is reflective of the sound being made (having a burning noise illustrated as if it were burning, having a “pew pew” of a laser gun look scifi, etc). It should be drawn into the comic by the artist (inker) rather than added in later by the person doing the layout. They can use the shape of the words to indicate the kind of sound, it’s direction, and where it is originating from. We get some REALLY poorly done ones in this comic (like the “Balooey!!” on page 1). They are able to produce a good one later on (page 16 of the PDF) so it confuses me why they are so poor at other times.

Writing / Story: The dialogue is stilted. My frequent readers will note that I have a special, soft, spot for campy or pulpy comics but this doesn’t fall into that category. It’s just bad. They lay out the plot in dialogue- a major sin in comics. Remember- comics are both a visual and literary medium. You can use one or the other as a substitute for its counterpart. When a hero punches out the villain you don’t need him to say, “Wow! I knocked him out with one punch!” at the same time as showing it and that’s exactly what this comic does. It’s just panels of expository dialogue explaining what is going on in the panel.

The plot itself serves to set up Edison Thomas and his supporting cast. The first part of the comic does a good job establishing the rules of his universe. Shakespeare this is not, but it tells a coherent story and as a one-shot whose goal was to establish the character for use in a larger cross-over initiative it does it’s job. Edison Thomas (not to be confused with Thomas Edison or anything) fits snuggly into the super-genius archetype ala Reed Richards, Dr. Quest, Hank Pym, etc and has a gadget for everything.

The second part is more concerned with dimensional obliteration. They do a fun bit with an alien world and their culture. I will say that they do some pretty big logic leaps and treat Edison’s intelligence as something of a omni-solution, pushing him awfully close to Gary Stu territory. See, the danger with that is that one could fall into the “a wizard did it”/ ”techno-jargon” kind of story telling. The reason we like to read “smart” characters (like Holmes) is because we get inside their heads and at the end they reveal how it was done. Without that pay off, the protagonist might as well have just said “abracadabra” and the problem was resolved. Like we are never told what a “buffer zone field” was and why it resulted in an “impenetrable sphere of solidified matter” or even what the enemy’s power really was (other than that it “drew power from the atmosphere”).

The second part is far better than the first- really telling a very “big” story in just 20ish pages, even if the story is told with just the broad strokes. To be honest- I kind of liked how it was told. If we got too much into the details it might have bogged it down. There were some parts I wished they’d explained a bit more (as mentioned above) but overall it worked.

Overall: Ultimately... if this wasn’t free I wouldn’t recommend it. However, as a free little comic, you could do worse. It gives you a big story in a small bite. It’s not going to change the world but it’s got heart if nothing else. Give it a read if pulpy super-genius stuff is your thing.

Metrics: -Art: 4/10 [Not pro but you can get by with it] -Lettering/Layout: 3/10 [Some issues, but nothing that makes it unreadable] -Plot: 4/10 [Interesting enough for a one-shot] -Novelty: 3/10 [It's all been done before]

Overall: 3.5/10

Review from indiecomicreview.com



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Edison Thomas Saves the World #1 (One Shot)
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for your review Scotty! This story was created 14 years ago and I would like to see you review one of my newer books as a lot of the points you bring up have been corrected with experience and technology. Thanks again! Kevin
Captain Canuck - Free Comic Book Day #0
Publisher: Chapterhouse Comics
by Scotty G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/04/2015 16:26:46

Captain Canuck (Free Comic Book Day #0)

Staff: Kalman Andrasofszky, Ed Brisson, George Freeman, Jim Charalampidis, Rosemary Cheetham

Overview: By the end of this awesome comic you'll be craving putien and maple syrup.

Review: So I’m going to look at Captain Canuck today. It’s from Chapter House comics and, from what I understand, it’s a revitalization of a golden age hero written by Richard Comely and Ron Leishman.

Before I get onto the review I gotta say that I watched one of the animated shorts online before this and... wow. It’s legit. Like well voice acted, some fluid animation, and it sets up a solid (if not a little by-the-book) universe for our hero.

Art: The art for this comic is up there with the best bits of modern professional comic artwork. This is right out of a Marvel or DC comic, no doubts about it. Clean lines, gorgeous color, etc. It was a real treat after the last comic I reviewed and I can see there is some serious talent/money behind this comic. It shows in all the right places and, to be honest, there isn’t much more to say than “wow- killer artwork bro”.

At the end of the book there are characters bios and character artwork. I just wanted to point out how goddamn beautiful and thoughtful they all are. My frequent readers will no doubt know how little I like to gush about character designs unless they are THAT good but... damn. They work a lot of history and politics into certain characters costumes, add little accessories, and make everyone memorable.If there is one shortcoming it is “Mr. Gold”, the villain. He seems so... stock. His background is very generic and it seems like his motives are one-dimensional.

Lettering / Layout: Lettering is crisp and proper. No slipups. I always say what separates a good comic from a professional one is lettering and layout. This comic proves my point- it’s damn solid lettering and layout. As a result, it LOOKS professional. If you told me this was a DC comic I’d have believed it (might have even praised the art for being better than normal).

Writing / Story: So the titular “Captain Canuck” (aka Tom Evans) is an agent of “Equilibrium” (think SHIELD or something) is setting up to stop an oil fire. They give us a lot of backstory on everyone though little bits of dialogue in the first few page preview (keep in mind I am reading from a free preview comic for free comic book day).

The second story is a text-heavy origin story of Captain Canuck. It recounts a lot of the golden age stuff from the character’s backstory and gives us a good overview of the character. As with any “Captain [Insert Nation Here” character, he DOES have a bit of the Captain America. I don’t think that’s the writer’s issue- it’s more just a product of the times it was written in and, ultimately, doesn’t sour the story at all. There are more aliens and time travel in his background and he kinda doesn’t have the WWII soldier vibe, but the connection is still there. I think I actually like Canuck’s better to be honest.

As a guy who spent summers in Quebec and PEI when he was a kid, I did like that they had the character from Quebec correct everyone’s pronunciation to “Kebeck” which is how it is said in French (and by everyone there). I also dig that she’s never been able to gell with her teammates- a nice little bit of political commentary there ;-)

Overall: Overall... yeah. I’m a fan. This is awesome. No two ways about it. I am a sucker for schlocky, golden age-inspired, lantern-jawed, goodness and this scratched that itch and went a bit further. Loved the redesign, loved the art, and the world is rich enough that I am invested. Give it a read! Oooohh Caaaanada!

Metrics: Art: 10/10 [Pro level.] Lettering: 9/10 [Good lettering and layout make a good comic.] Plot: 7/10 [Solid writing. Good characters.] Novelty: 6/10 [While rebooting an old character they do some new stuff with it.] Overall: 8/10

From http://indiecomicreview.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Captain Canuck - Free Comic Book Day #0
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Creator Reply:
Thanks so much, Scotty. We\'re really happy you like it. Very impressive review. Have you read any of the follow up issues (like #1) to Captain Canuck? #5 is out now, #6 comes out in December. Have you read the Pitiful Human-Lizard #1? It\'s a completely different kind of story from this one, but it\'s been getting a lot of attention. #3 comes out in December.
The United #1
Publisher: Weapon Press
by Scotty G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/24/2015 12:19:23

The United

Staff: Melchizedek Todd

Overview:

An honest to God solid Christian multi-publisher crossover.

Review:

Ok so today I am going to do something a little different. I normally review only Issue #1s but today I am going to take a look at “The United” which, while technically a #1, is actually a mega crossover event between 10 Christian themed superheroes. I am totally in support of Indie crossovers and I was very excited to come across this one. For better or for worse- I am going to check out The United #1. Let’s give it a look.

Lettering & Layout

The layout is very reader friendly- as a 10 character crossover has to be. We have a character page with headshots and names of all the characters and when we are introduced to them we are given a small blurb about their abilities. This is helpful and not super intrusive.

The lettering is not fantastic. The introduction uses some very stock fonts in big, poorly laid out, exposition blocks. In panel the lettering is odd. Sometimes it is stretched or warped oddly but you can read it without issue.

Art

The art style is very stroke-heavy and is something I’d more expect to see in a horror comic but it is very detailed and it works. Someone obviously put a lot of love into the art for this comic and it shows. There are some anatomical oddities and inconsistencies but overall it’s fluid and is more a stylistic thing than anything. My only other real complaint is that due to the high contract and stroke-heavy nature of the art sometimes it is a little hard to follow if there is a large number of characters on the page. While not on the professional level- it isn’t a bad attempt and every scene has a plethora of “things” going on (as opposed to the empty background a lot of indie comics have).

Story

What we get out of this comic is a good old-fashioned superhero beatdown. I was skeptical of this comic until about page 7 because that page features a whole host (see what I did there? pun pun) of heroes just beating the living hell (I got a million of these) out of some robots on a beautifully done splash-page. THIS is what crossover comics are about.

In short, they have all been summoned by what is essentially the Devil (who has a rather fun and unique character design). A lot of Christian comics I have reviewed in the past were very preachy and (pardon the pun) black and white about morality. “God is good” is the only message we get and we are never introduced to the complexities of matters of morality and faith. I’m not religious and that always put me off about them. This comic doesn’t do that however. Right off the bat we are given some very valid reasons as to why God is a jerk by the antagonist. He talks about how God turns his back on the weak, punishes the innocent, and is wrathful at seemingly random times. While we (as readers) and the heroes are never going to side with the Devil on this one- this is a legitimate test of faith for the characters. We get some good back and forth from these characters and they show their devotion in their own way. Some quote biblical passages, some are silent, and some show their colors by simply quipping back but no one falters in their faith. A scumbag even calls them, “super-powered Jesus freaks” and that shows that the writer is not afraid to address the absurdity of the premise within the context of the real world. It makes it more believable and human- something a lot of superhero comics lack.

If there is a weakness to this comic- it is the overall plot. We have a bunch of kind of directionless plot threads that are just kind of thrown at us. They are fun visually but we aren’t made privy to exactly why some things are happening or what their overall goal is. Honestly- I wasn’t looking for Les Miserables from a massive crossover book but it would have been nice to see a more coherent story put together all the same.

Overall

Overall- this comic defied my expectations. I expected to get a moralizing yuppy Christian book with a bunch of, as the comic puts it, “superpowered Jesus freaks” but what I got was a lot of fun. It was a fast paced beat ‘em up with more characters than I could shake a stick at. It wasn’t overly long and while the overall direction was a bit messy it had a very good approach to the whole concept. Give it a read.

Metrics

Art: 5/10 (Stylized and decent. Not pro.)

Lettering: 3/10 (Not professional)

Plot: 5/10 (A realistic world with some interesting moral questions but lacks direction overall)

Novelty: 8/10 (A GOOD Christian comic? This is a white whale.)

Overall: 5/10 (but go read it)

Review from: http://indiecomicreview.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The United #1
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the review Scotty G.
Eclipse #1
Publisher: S&T Comics
by Scotty G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/26/2014 13:43:21

Eclipse

Review: Alright so Trevor Talbott, the creator, shot me a email regarding his KS backed comic. Like normal I am going in blind (to try to remain objective) so I have not read any sort of intro or summary. With that being said, lets jump into “Eclipse”!

So the artwork is really trying to be professional grade. A lot of indie comics don’t think enough about the color pallet they are using for a comic, but this one a lot of thought went into it. The style seems very “DC” (which is good for the most part) and I definitely get the modern superhero vibe from this comic. The artist (the line artist in particular) doesn’t draw heads or faces as well as bodies it seems. Sometimes we get characters with really heavy jaws, oddly placed eyes, and they seems to have two expressions- teeth grit or lips closed. The eyes are almost always WIDE OPEN and while I think it is a stylistic choice, I don’t think it lends anything to the visuals (kind of makes the characters look like dolls). Also, page 20 had some really good example of dynamic movement and the way you can layout your panels in a creative way (hats off you ya’! It deserves a special mention).

One thing that I liked was the way they handled having a (slightly) autistic dad in the story. They didn’t go all “comic made for the express purpose of beating us over the head with a message ” on us, but they did show the problems it presents. This is the hallmark of really good writing. At first I was honestly going to write this off comic as one of the dozen “generic superhero” comics we’ve all see in the indie space but- goddam was I wrong. This is a comic with heart, some fantastic characterizations, well thought-out dialogue, and by the end I really could identify with it.

I gotta say I liked the references to other comic characters (The “Menacing Bulk” and the “Crimson Bat”). This was written by a comic fan for comic fans, I can tell you that much. There are lot of little inside references. The costume design for the protagonist REALLY reminds me of Nightwing (particularly the New 52 version) and a lot of the visual tricks they use with good ol’ Dick Grayson pop up (multiple iterations of the same character on the same panel in different positions to show fluid acrobatic movement).

To be honest, I wasn’t a huge can of the antagonist. When you hold him up next to such a well written protagonist he doesn’t really stand up. Hell, I was kind of sad when we had to go back to present day and see scenes without the protagonist’s father who was much more interesting to me. Then again, if it had not progressed the story, I probably would have criticized the patience. The saving grace of the villain is that you get some good character development at the end of the comic and it makes me think there is more to him than that. He seems to be being set up for something bigger.

If I have a gripe it is that we don’t get too much actually happening in the peasant. We get an intro followed by an extended flashback (that gives context and character development), and finally a little ending. The main character is pretty much in the same situation he starts in, though we get some world building. I don’t know if that is a bad thing, and maybe it is my American need for instant gratification, but I don’t get a big payoff. Like I feel there should have been a big ol’ fight at some point that really shows us what this hero can do (present day).

Overall though, this is a stellar comic. I can recommend it sheerly on the strength of writing, but the art is worth a glance too. It goes into some unexplored territory and is very clever in the entire overall presentation. Give it a read!

Metrics Art: 5/10 (Nearly pro grade) Lettering: 5/10 (Didn’t notice it so that means it’s solid) Plot: 8/10 (Back story is great) Novelty: 7/10 (Pushes some boundaries in terms of the treatment of Autism) Overall: 6.25/10 Review from http://indiecomicreview.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Eclipse #1
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Penny Palabras: Episode 01
Publisher: Hollow Scene
by Scotty G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/03/2014 22:54:03

Penny Palabras

Staff: Kelly Matten and Waker farrell

Overview:

Wonderful creepy pasta in comic form.

Review:

Ok so today’s main dish is Penny Palabras, a supernatural story by James B Willard and Patrick K Beavers. We are given a brief introduction that describes a girl (Penny) who is terrorized by a paranormal entity known as “the straw man” and she seeks to find a way to free herself from him. It’s a pretty novel concept off the bat and I’m psyched to get into it! Lets dive into, Penny Palabras (Episode One: The Spectacular Revolver).

Let’s start with the visuals. The art is a drag grayscale that uses a lot of negative space and rough lines. It’s very fitting with the theme and is a stylistic choices rather than a demonstration of the limits of the artist. Mix that with the almost handwritten typography and you have a wonderful visual presentation. There are a few limits brought on by the art style and things I wished they had find a way around (some of the dark grey dialogue bubbles have their edges lost against other areas of dark grey due to a lack of stroke for example). That being said, the art is not professional grade but I almost doesn’t want professional grade with a comic like this. It fits too well. It’s dirty and messy, just like the story.

The story is narrated from the perspective of an odd little girl but before you start shouting “gothic-Alice syndrome!” she defies the cliche. Penny is one of the few female protagonists who doesn’t seem to be just a pair of breasts and hips, she is more than that. I could have seen this character being written as a male or female, but I get the feeling that if Penny had been a guy it would have been a much more “emo” comic. Instead Penny is tough yet still sensitive enough to be vulnerable and have problems.

There is some clever writing that match the clever visuals. The story is very engaging and they make use of both the visual and literary aspects of the medium (example: talking about the skull faced man you can see in the moon while moon is right there). There is an art to that and it’s well done here. It leaves us on a cliffhanger, asking more questions than it really answers, and while as a reader that bothers me a bit- it works. It snags you hook-line and sinker and pulls you along for a ride. Penny Palabras doesn’t fall into the trap of a lot of first issues where it just hammers you with exposition. No, it establishes things pretty quick and actually progresses the tale by page 24.

All and all this is a fantastic little comic. Right now it’s donation for the first issue and I strongly suggest you pick up a copy if your into the horror, supernatural or even just plain mystery genres. Totally worth a read.

Metrics

Art: 5/10 (Not pro but it fits the theme)

Lettering: 5/10 (Sloppy and inconsistent)

Plot: 7/10 (What can I say? I love well written female character.)

Novelty: 8/10 (New and creepy!)

Overall: 6.25/10

Review from: http://indiecomicreview.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Penny Palabras: Episode 01
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Salvagers #1
Publisher: Hound Comics
by Scotty G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/20/2014 20:26:23

Salvagers

Staff: Bob Salley, George Acevedo, Delfine Siobhan-Kanashii

Overview:

Caution: Hardcore scifi slummy greatness inside

Review:

So Salvagers comes to us from Hound Comics who has a pretty good rep and I’ve been looking to check out a comic or two from them. I picked up Salvagers #1 and can’t wait to dive in.

So these guys are pros. I read that comic without even blinking I think. 28 pages gone in a flash. Salvagers is about, you guessed it, salvage... but in space. At first it vaguely reminds me of the series planetes (If you haven’t seen that, stop reading this and treat yourself to an episode or two) but by the end the only things I could really liken it to were Firefly and Star Wars. A rag-tag crew of high-risk salvagers scour the stars for a few legitimate jobs. We join our crew as they are attempting to salvage a warship. When the ships security measures start kicking in, things go FUBAR. Don’t want to give anything away because it’s a solid comic but the real star of the comic is the characterization. The characters and their interactions with each other is a lot of fun to read and you can tell by the way they talk that they have been slumming in on these crummy jobs for a while now.

The art is professional, no questions asked. Top notch grade A USDA approved comic art. The color and proportions were consistent, the dynamic action spot on, and the perspective creative and indicative of the action. If there is one complaint I can make it is the lettering, it switches for various reasons (com chatter, synthetic voice, etc) and sometimes that is for the worse. A few times the type got kind of close to the edge of the speech bubble and I really felt like it wasn’t on the level of the awesome art this comic has.

Sorry for the short review this time, but I don’t have a lot of critiques for this one. Love it, go check it out.

Metrics

Art: 9/10 (100% Grade A Comic Art)

Lettering: 4/10 (Sloppy in a few places)

Plot: 6/10 (Characterization is the strong point here)

Novelty: 6/10 (Nothing groundbreaking in novelty but an instant classic.)

Overall: 6.25/10

Review from: Indiecomicreview.com



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Salvagers #1
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#01 Part of "Allwënn: Soul & Sword" FREE!!!
Publisher: Vilches & Charro
by Scotty G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/01/2014 21:41:44

Allwënn: Soul & Sword

Staff: Jesús B. Vilches and Javier Charro Overview:

It's gothy and emo but it has amazing art and prose.

Review:

Alright next on my post-hangover 2014 review binge is Allwënn: Soul & Sword. It’s the preview for an upcoming comic series and it is hella free so that’s a plus right there (no excuse as to why you can’t “buy” it right?) Again, as per normal I didn’t read anything on this one prior to jumping in so let’s see how it did!

...only I totally did read up on it and there was this YouTube video the creators did so I watched that before reading the comic. The tone I got from it was that of an anime series that takes itself way too seriously and tries to be “dark”. So consider this section a kind of mini review of the comic’s promo video. The intro text was very... weak. It was a bunch of emo vague statements over some cool music than a montage of artwork from the comic. Honestly, it conveyed tone but did not interest me. The art alone got me invested but the weak and vague statements didn’t tell me anything about what this book I would be buying would be about. Something about how the narrator (who is unknown to us) “was there” when a sword was baptized in “her” name and when he tried to kill himself.

(Sigh) I really hope this comic’s story explains or I am gonna be ripped. Anyway, on to the comic!

So first off this is not so much a comic as a true “graphic novel”. I don’t mean in the “serious comic” sort of way, but in the layout of the comic. It is a series of pages with dialogue over them with art in the background. Sometimes there is no art and just a stony black background.

The art of this comic is beyond captivating. It fits the tone, it expresses emotion, it backs the dialogue, etc. In fact this book is nothing if not artistic and I say that because every visual aspect of this comic was design from the perspective of an artistic mindset. When there is art- it is a choice to do so that makes the story stronger, when there is no art- there is a aesthetic reason behind it, and the type of art (linework, full body, etc) it is all back by a solid rationale that I can understand. The background are beautiful too. Even when just a blackish stone texture it feeds that visual tone the comic is striving for. It feels a bit like a Conan story set in a high fantasy setting visually. Kind of remind me of Skyrim’s take on fantasy and I am impressed to the nth degree.

After I finished this review I read another and it talks about how there are a few reused pieces in the comic but ultimately I find this acceptable. When they use the picture more than once, the first time we see only part of it and as the story unfolds, we see more of it.

I’m sorry to say that the plot is just straight up “emo”. As a reviewer, I like to use better words than “emo” but it’s the most fitting one I can think of. The protagonist acts like he is going to kill himself every night by holding a dagger to his chest but stops and is always seeking his own death. Really? REALLY! That is the plot you are going for with art as goddam GORGEOUS as this? That is the tone you are going to use for a graphic novel laid out as well as this with as much love as was so clearly put into this? We get to hear the goth kids from South Park’s backstory for their D&D character? Ugg. Kill me now... except don’t. I don’t want to be as emo as this comic’s premise.

The premise, as far as we are really told is that this a half elf half dwarf guy loves this girl... a lot. Like a lot a lot (we are told about it on just about every page) and since he couldn’t have her he went 120% emo and started seeking his own death by doing stupid stuff like trying to kill 20 people at once. Of course since he is the protagonist- he can’t die and keeps on going around repeating his suicidal quest.

The writing itself is solid. No grammar mistakes, no odd word choices, and overall is brilliant. You have to get past all the gothy-emo stuff that is just laid on so thick and heavy it hurts at times. It reads more like poetry or limerick than story and you have to read between the lines quite frequently. The writing style reminds me of a Homeric epic at times while at others I find little snippets of The Bard in there. There is a particularly vivid love scene that we get one (tasteful) picture of but are then given a powerfully moving bit of prose that would make even a salty maiden blush.

One thing that kind of bugs me, but I can totally see why they did it, is that they tell this story in such short fragments. It jumps around every four or five pages and I am unable to follow any one trail for more than a moment before the graphic novel jumps to something completely different. It was really hard to get through the first few “chapters” (which are only a few pages long) but around the midpoint it started to all click. There is an overall narrative that begins to take shape but since the story is not told chronologically for the most part it is a tough read.

All and all this is one of those graphic novels you don’t want to miss. It’s a rare gem with greater prose and artistic direction that is second to none. The premise they chose is really dark and a little overplayed but the team that made this is wildly passionate about it and dives head first.

Metrics

Art: 9/10 (If this art was a woman, I'd put a ring on it)

Lettering: 5/10 (Nothing groundbreaking but always legible)

Plot: 4/10 (They were a little heavy on the emo but great on the prose)

Novelty: 7/10 (A crazy attempt at a true "graphic novel" with solid art direction)

Overall: 6.25/10

Review from: http://indiecomicreview.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
#01 Part of "Allwënn: Soul & Sword" FREE!!!
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Creator Reply:
Hi, I am the artist Javier Charro, thank you very much for your detailed review, Scotty
Spying with Lana: Sweet Nothings
Publisher: Amazing Art Bros.
by Scotty G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/01/2014 20:05:27

Spying with Lana: Sweet Nothings

Staff: Sean Harrington

Overview:

A surprisingly smartly written 18+ indie comic with some quality issues.

Review:

Oh good another 18+ comic. Today I’ll be spying on Spying With Lana: Sweet Nothings. I’m pretty sure I’ll regret it, but hey- I give everything a chance.

Straight up, the art is good. For one we have a pretty realistic comic and the artist/writer (Sean Harrington) has a very good grasp of anatomy, even if it is the anatomy of a porn star. I gotta say though, when every shot of every character is kind of centered on their massive tits... it’s not really something that screams “awesome artistic direction” in my mind. Then again, this is an 18+ comic. There is also this really odd disconnect between the character's skin, the lineart, and the backgrounds.Like on page 7 (page 1 of the actual comic) the skin of the man yelling is drawn hyper realistic, the stroke is done with some rough tool, the suit he is wearing is another texture all together, and the background is non-existant. I have this weird suspicious that this guy is tracing stuff or just ripping pictures. Like the wall on the bottom of page 8 is from Google, but the panel above that is drawn. It’s SO weird. Like sometimes it is clearly drawn and sometimes it is clearly not. And when it is drawn there is this odd “manga” style that gets introduced every now and again that is another divergence from the art style. Maybe it is his style? Maybe it is some kind of artistic shortcut? I don’t know. Either way the meshing between all these styles really creates a very inconsistent tone.

The typography is not so good and a lot of care was taken in it. There is a minor rasterization/compression issue on the text (possibly on the whole comic) but that’s not much to complain about.

Ironically, I am going to say the story was actually pretty engaging. Like I went into this assuming we’d get a “pizza delivery” class porno story... but yeah, I was wrong. I sold it short. The basic premise is that a sexy spy tricks three people into giving up their components to a secret invention they were meant to be protecting. I mean there are tits every page or two and some sexy time, but... yeah. Decent. There was some clever line delivery, I actually got a few chuckled out of it and the characterization was pretty solid. If it wasn’t for the tits being shoved in my face every like 30 sec it would have been a solid normal comic, but it has the 18+ label to be honest it would have detracted from the humor. The excessive sex and titts actually kind of play to the kind of humor the comic is looking to portray.

So then there is this weird shift in quality on page 20. Rather than being drawn or use stock images we get a random low quality 3D image as the exterior of a house with some text that is either super compressed or low quality is superimposed over it. Really? I gave you credit for some solid art early on in this review, don’t make me regret it.

Anyway, in conclusion this is a smartly written 18+ comic that really is bogged down due to some poor choices. The artistic disconnect in styles is disconcerting, the compression issues are glaring, and the whole thing could have benefited from a serious upgrade. Otherwise, the writing was good, the plot was engaging, the characterizations were strong. Maybe I prejudged an 18+ indie comic but hey- I’m game to review anything and give it a fair chance.

Metrics

Art: 2/10 (Weird clashing art styles. Generally good. Quality issues.)

Lettering: 4/10 (Solid with compression issues.)

Plot: 6/10 (Actually pretty solid.)

Novelty: 5/10 (A new story to me... and tits?)

Overall: 4.25/10

Review from



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Spying with Lana: Sweet Nothings
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Legacy #1
Publisher: September17 Productions
by Scotty G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/18/2013 17:21:44

Legacy

Staff: Andrew Lorenz and Mike Campeau

Overview:

Generic superhero in genetic tights

Review:

There is something weird going on with the art. Most times it is downright solid, but sometimes it shifts style (in the same panel) and looks like it was drawn by two different people. A good example of this is on page 4 where it looks like the thug’s head is drawn in a different style than his chest. It should also be noted that some of this looks like the reused all or some of certain art pieces. Again on page 4, look at the position of the thug’s head and arm, then compare it to the panel on the top of the page. There is also this weird reliance of really amateur level gradients on things (particularly noticeable on what I assume is paper or trash blowing in the wind?) over what is otherwise really solid line work. We also have a very visually clean city for an environment that is apparently slipping into the hands of crime and heading towards total collapse. I see this a lot with people who don’t pay as much attention to the background and the kind of world they are portraying. There is a very bright background with a lot of primary colors, something that kind of clashes with the urban aesthetic they talk about in the next. This could also be a lack of detail on the artists part.

The lettering is not up to par either. I hate to be rough on this stuff, but we have some seriously decent lettering with some big bobos when it comes to the placement of text (See page 9) in the dialogue balloons. The lettering on the intro is not the same quality as in the comic and really is distractingly bad (maybe a center align or something?). However, otherwise it is very solid.

The dialogue is lifted from every golden age comic ever that serve more to explain the scene then to explore the characters. For example we had line where a criminal say, “He’s got Shane!”. This does very little to educate us, the reader, to the nature of either the hero who has apprehended Shane. It doesn’t even explore Shane’s character and only gives us a vague insight into the other two mooks who say “Forget him, lets go!”. In a lot of my reviews I bring up that comics are a visual medium (at least in part) and you don’t always have to have dialogue for a scene to work. In this case, I think a lot of these scenes would have worked a great deal better if they dialogue had been left off. For example, imagine if the hero has ripped the top of a car and we got the panicked faces of the thugs and as they flee we see him grab one. The emotion on the faces of the characters (which is well done) could have had time to shine and carry the scene, but instead we get trite dialogue.

Overall this seems like a failure of concept. This is a decent art team but it feels like someone had a “really cool idea for a hero” (who is, in truth, rather generic) and paid an artist to illustrate it. It lacks that je ne sais quoi that a well thought out comic concept that has real potential has. The setting is one step from Gotham and Paragon is somewhere between Superman and Captain America. I HATE to simplify it like that, but that’s the vibe I get. Like someone, a very passionate fan, wrote this comic as a love letter to his favorite tropes. And I’ll give him credit- he mimicked them well. However, mimicking and effectively implementing them are two very different things. It just doesn’t feel unique or novel at all. It’s just a different rehashing of the basics wearing it’s factory printed tights.

The postscript is a very good read actually. It tells you the name of the characters and some of the background on the comic’s development. It seems like a lot of passion went into this comic and it looks like there is a longer term goal in mind because we are told there is 130 issues so don’t write this comic off on my review of it. This is potentially a very strong series and I am just reviewing the “trailer” here. Then again, I wish we’d got some of that in the first issue. If it didn’t grab me it might be lacking in something.

Something else I liked in the postscript is that our dear author talks about not talking but doing something. This is a HUGE issue that I see in the indie industry. Everyone thinks is really easy to make a comic and their idea is the best one out there. These guys, including this team, bite and claw their way up. It is a massive undertaking that takes talented people months (if not years) of hard work. Sure they are “indie” but hot-damn if that doesn’t make it all the more impressive.

Metrics

Art: 4/10 (Not pro, some weird elements)

Lettering: 4/10 (Good with a few small missteps)

Plot: 3/10 (Genetic with trite dialogue)

Novelty: 2/10 (Nothing new under the sun)

Overall: 3.5/10

Review from: http://indiecomicreview.com/



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Legacy #1
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Lei Li "The rage of the tiger" #01
Publisher: Zona 00 Comics
by Scotty G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/18/2013 15:02:08

Lei Li- The Rage of the Tiger

Staff: Ertito Montana (Based on Kuang Ni’s work) Overview:

Not much to say- good visual comic.

Review:

So this book is based on the famous wuxia writer Kuang Ni’s work (I am assuming the One-Armed swordsman) and is kind of a love-letter to his style of writing. I actually just got off a wuxia/wushu kick myself so reviewing this comic will be a blast for me. That being said, let’s jump into “Lei Li- The Rage of the Tiger”.

Visually this is one of the most interesting comics I’ve read in a while. It’s a very minimalist, almost cartoony style done entirely with lineart. While the plot is a bit lite, I get the it is not the point of the comic. It’s really about the artistic direction and the stylized. Overall it’s only about 13 pages of actual comic and there is very little dialogue (which works in its favor). When there is dialogue the lettering is legible and the onomatopoeia are in the same style as the art.

If I had a criticism, it would be that the plot is a little convoluted and I often mistook characters for each other. The plot aspect is because they are doing a continuing story and I feel like you’d need to read them all together to understand what’s going on (and that's part of the fun). It's also a little short for a comic so if that bugs you... shame on you- it's FREE.

I’m sorry for a short review this time but there isn’t a lot to critique here. There is some wonderful, highly stylized art, the start of a very traditional wuxia story, and it was a lot of fun to read. And it’s free! Give it a shot!

Metrics

Art: 7/10 (Stylized artwork )

Lettering: 5/10 (Decent)

Plot: 3/10 (Not much revealed and a tricky to understand without context)

Novelty: 5/10 (Innovative artstyle, fun way to revisit a good writer's work!)

Overall: 5/10

Review From: http://indiecomicreview.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lei Li "The rage of the tiger" #01
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Average Jo #1
Publisher: Hound Comics
by Scotty G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/10/2013 16:19:02

Average Jo

Staff: John Pross, Derek Adnams, Julius Abrera, Bryan Maganaye, and Brandon Bullock

Overview:

Solid story, awesome artwork.

Review:

So today’s main dish is Average Jo by Hound Comics. It’s got a slick cover and an “adult” warning on it so what could possibly bad about it? Well, let’s find out!

I mentioned this a while back in my Spectrum review; if a comic’s description starts off by telling us the race of our protagonist- it seems to absorb a lot of the focus on the comic. Average Jo starts off by saying, “Meet Jo Hamilton. Jo is a Filipino-American police officer in the city of Eden...” To be honest- unless this comic is going to be deeply entrenched in the cultural plight of Filipino-Americans, leave that out of it. (I am waiting for the day a non-Neo Nazi comic starts off saying, “Bob Smith is a Caucasian-American police officer in New York City.”) This is a tiny little pet peeve of mine that I’ve spent enough time of this review of a solid comic on so...

Let me jump into the art section of the review by saying, “DAMMMN”. Now reclaim a bit of my professionalism (cough cough) I’ll explain why I think this is one of the most gorgeously drawn comics I’ve recently seen. It blends realism and traditional american comic art conventions perfectly. Angels are used well, anatomy is consistent and realistic, the outfits are imaginative (kind of gives me a bit of the “New 52” vibe- in a good way), and they don’t skip on the background. I can’t overstate how important that is, a lot of good comics have stunningly bad backgrounds (I’m looking at you Marvel and DC).

The dialogue is smartly written and have a very professional ring to it. A lot of indie comics have this tendency to overload us with exposition right off the bat and we’re smothered in dry lines by page 3 or 4. I got a LITTLE background (in snippets) during the first two pages. It didn’t require a block of text- I got it through dialogue and demonstration. I like that we get to see a lot of our protagonist's home life and get to really empathize with him as a person.

At first I didn't even notice the lettering, which to me makes me squee with joy. Lettering SHOULD be easy to read and not the main focus of the story. They do a bang up job of some very professional lettering and it pays off in a unicycle flowing comic.

One thing I’ll say detracts from this comic a bit of the subject matter. We have “supers” running around cities and a legal act that protects them and... yadda yadda yadda. Sorry to say but this is a really tired concept. We get it from the perspective of a mundane cop which is kind of unique but it feels like 1/2 the other indie comics in the superhero genre I’ve read. Off the top of my head, just the ones I’ve personally reviewed, I can think of: iHero, The Misadventures of Electrolyte and The Justice Purveyors, True North (somewhat), and Division M. In fact, it reminds me a lot of Division M (though much better written and executed) with that entry level cop vs superhuman sort of thing going on. It’s not to say this is a bad comic, it is just a song that has been played one too many times on the radio.

Overall this is solid comic. One of the most well rounded endeavors I’ve come across recently. It has a very human element in what could easily have descended into mediocrity. With a deft hand its crafted and bolstered by some solid artwork. Give it a read!

Metrics

Art: 8/10 (Pro level)

Lettering: 6/10 (As it should be)

Plot: 5/10 (Very human characters, good dialogue)

Novelty: 4/10 (Been done before)

Overall: 5.75/10

Review from: http://indiecomicreview.com/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Average Jo #1
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IMPERIALS #1a
Publisher: Red Leaf Comics
by Scotty G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/21/2013 15:34:07

Imperials

Staff: Liam Kavanagh, Stuart Perrins, Paul Moore, Stuart Patrick

Overview:

So British you can use the hardcopy as a tea bag.

Review:

So today I’m looking at Imperials from Red Leaf comics. This comes at me from across the pond (aren’t digital comics wonderful?). from the UK division of Red Leaf. So lets dive into Imperials #1!

...and it’s a super British comic. Not sure what I expected, but yeah, this comic is so British I swear I saw the Union Jack stitched into the protagonist’s underwear. This comic is split into two short stories so I’ll be doing two reviews of each section because they differ pretty heavily.

Lettering is really hit or miss. The introduction page is very difficult to read due to a choice to put a black text over a black and white sketch of a man in power armor. After that little misstep, the comic’s lettering gets a facelift and is near professional grade. Then it switches back to terrible when the comics does some robotic dialogue. The glaring red they use at time really clashes with the rest of an otherwise good lettering job.

The second story has typical lettering and ultimately is pretty solid. Not reinventing the wheel, but good.

Something weird about the art is that every character in the background in the first story seems to be expressing some extreme emotion. I guess that is kind of a counter to the way most comics put laughly little detail into background characters. Then again the expressions on all of these characters seem to be exaggerated. It’s not good or bad, simply a stylistic choice. The costume designs don’t really do anything for me

Otherwise the art in the first story is not typically the style you see in an everyday superhero comic. There is a lot of crosshatching being done and use of pure black backgrounds. The art style seems a bit like a political cartoon you might see in the New Yorker or something. There are some very awkward posing at times but for the most part it’s pretty well done.

The second comic has much better art in my opinion. It takes a much more minimalist approach to the way it’s drawn and even though there is a little less detail, it’s a lot of fun to look at. It seems to have a hint of asian influence to the artstyle, which makes it a very compelling mix of styles.

The plot of the first story is pretty straightforward fair. Supervillain robots attack Parliament, a hero attempts to stop them and gets back up from another one. I wish I could elaborate, but this is really just a lot of exposition. It’s a decent read so don’t skip it, but I’d suggest that you read it only with the intention of reading two or three of them back to back to get some momentum going.

The second story is a much smaller scale story that seemed to go by a bit faster. Though it wasn’t as dense or plot heavy, I enjoyed it a bit more. It was smaller in scope but deeper on characterization. Not every panel serves to progress some big story, it relies on facial expressions and action rather than dialogue. Hats off to you on that.

Overall it’s an odd mix. The first story really lost me in it’s heavy plot, iffy costume choices, and paint-by-numbers feel. It was definitely painted in the colors of the UK flag but it was still pretty generic superhero fare. The second story is the saving grace. It’s a street level story about a cop, robot, and a superhero. A lot of fun to read.

So give it a read. It’s only 99 cents (USD) and it’s 23 pages. It’s a nice little collaboration between some UK (and Canadian) writers and artist.

God save the Queen and all that ;-)

Metrics

Art: 4/10 (Decent but mixed)

Lettering: 4/10 (Lot of good, a little bad)

Plot: 3/10 (It does the pulpy action bit well. I liked it.)

Novelty: 5/10 (New art style, new cast of writers, etc)

Overall: 4/10

Review from: http://indiecomicreview.com/



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
IMPERIALS #1a
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Crunch: Revenge #1 (one shot)
Publisher: Hyperactive Comics
by Scotty G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/08/2013 10:28:16

Crunch: Revenge

Staff: Kevin Hill

Overview:

Pulpy action goodness.

Review:

So opening up this comic I realize that it is actually the third comic in a set rather than the first (which I normally review) but I was quickly drawn in by the fun quirky style it had. So despite this not normally being the typical review I do, let jump into Crunch: Revenge!

So launching right into it, the art is awesome. It’s got this quirky 80s metal/punk aesthetic going on with some more modern tweaks. I got to say, despite it not being professional grade, it’s damn good and has a style all its own. The lines are crisp, the anatomy (however distended) is generally consistent, the artist displays an understanding of dynamic poses that allow his characters to be as expressive in pose as dialogue (very important for a visual medium), and the displays of motion are fluid and informative. Special not should be given to the perspective some of these shots are drawn from. If this was a movie I’d be giving the director of photography a high five for his excellent work. There are a few awkward facial expressions and poses, but all and all it’s a lot of fun.

The lettering could use some work. Some times I couldn’t tell who was speaking due to the placement of the speech bubbles but I could sus it out generally after looking at it for a moment. A lot of time the lettering is pretty close to the edge of the bubble and that can be a little distracting. They should probably stick to their typically lettering or have the artist draw headline text rather than switching to some other font, it just looks sloppy (see page 8).

The plot is nothing new and that kind of disappoints me a bit. However, when I look at the genre it is going for (pulpy action stuff) I can’t really blame it. Pulp thrives on the known and shines in the execution of said existing story elements and in that context this story gets high marks. In the same way the dialogue is hokey but I can’t tell if that is intentional (al Venture Brothers style) or accidental. Either way it works. I mean we have a vertically challenged main character named “Crunch Crakerton”, how serious can you get with the dialogue?

Overall Crunch: Revenge is a party. It’s a pulpy action comic that doesn’t shy in the face of being as hokey and chock full of anachronisms as possible; in fact it revels in it. I mean the hulky hero has his shirt torn off by page 12 after bantering back and forth with an ex-lover turned villain. You can’t do something like that without going headlong into it. If you half-ass it, it would come off as either a bad parody or knock off of something greater. In this case, Crunch not only jumps in feet first, but it does so wearing it’s puply-action colored speedo.

Metrics

Art: 6/10 (Not publisher grade but very fun)

Lettering: 3/10 (Slip ups and issues)

Plot: 6/10 (It does the pulpy action bit well. I liked it.)

Novelty: 3/10 (Nothing new, but keeps it fresh enough)

Overall: 4.5/10

Review from: http://indiecomicreview.com/



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Crunch: Revenge #1 (one shot)
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the review! Even though The Adventures of Crunch Crakerton, Crunch: Fight and Crunch: Revenge make up the Crunch Trilogy all 3 books have separate story lines. They are designed to be enjoyed without reading any of the other books! Thanks again!
Female Force: Nancy Reagan
Publisher: TidalWave Productions
by Scotty G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/01/2013 17:27:23

Female Force: Nancy Reagan

Staff: Michael Troy, Manuel Diaz, Jeremy Kahn, Alberto Pessoa

Overview: Educational, just not engaging.

Review: When I downloaded “Female Force Nancy Reagan” I thought someone had made Nancy Reagan into an action hero with a team of other 1st ladies (Note to self: pitch concept to NBC, I’m sure they are looking for something less offensive than Ironsides). What I got wasn’t that but it was still decent.

Jumping right in, the art’s solid but sometimes it looks traced (see: cover). They use a very vibrant palette and it’s clear this was intended for kids (or at least students). Layout it top notch and lettering is readable. A few times it got a bit small and when superimposed over some really vibrant colors (see page 14 for an example) it got a little hard to read when the text was smaller than expected.

The comic gives a glossy overview of Nancy Reagan's life from birth until childhood. While good overall, it has a few missteps (it compares Ronald and Nancy to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie?) Sometimes it jumps around chronologically (Example: It’s talking about a rocky relationship with her children then jumps to post presidential life when Ronald had medical issues then back). Then on page 16, for no reason, it jumps into some really disjointed things. It just says, “Consulting an astrologer about her husband’s tactics? Star Wars? Reaganomics? Red Scare Nuclear War?” without giving us the context of what is going on until a page later. It is a very odd jump and implies things that might confuse a kid on the first read without supervision.

This comic was clearly meant for students and was designed to be an educational resource. In that light, yeah it is successful. It is nice to see a comic working to engage kids in an education sense. However, it lacks any sort of passion. It’s paint by numbers. It might as well have come from wikipedia. This falls into the trap that educational TV shows and video games (really, all forms of media) falls into. It tries too hard to educate and not hard enough to engage.

Metrics Art: 5/10 (Better then expected with some slip ups) Lettering: 4/10 (Generally pretty good with some mistakes) Plot: 1/10 (Disjointed and lacks passion) Novelty: 3/10 (Educational angle saves it) Overall: 3.25/10

Review from: http://indiecomicreview.com/



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Female Force: Nancy Reagan
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